Zaza Pachulia received an official warning for violating the league’s anti-flopping policy, it was announced on Tuesday.
Omer Asik also received a warning this week, though Pachulia’s violation was much, much worse.
The play Pachulia was cited for took place during the Hawks’ win over the Wizards on Dec. 7. Kevin Seraphin secures the rebound, and swings his elbows to clear some space.
Seraphin whiffs at hitting Pachulia in the head, but you wouldn’t know it by Zaza’s reaction. He jerks his head back, then brings his hand to his nose as if contact was actually made, before wildly flailing backward.
Thankfully, the referee was right there, and close enough to see that no contact was made.
The majority of flopping occurs as a way for players to exaggerate actual contact in order to get a call from the officials. When a referee clearly can see that a player is falsifying the contact altogether, he should have the authority to whistle that player for a technical foul — that’s the only way we’re going to put an end to ridiculous plays like these that have an adverse affect on the way the game is played.
As it stands now, Pachulia simply receives an official warning for the despicable behavior. The league’s policy states that a $5,000 fine will be levied for his next offense, followed by increasing fines for continuing to violate the policy.